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Can Your City Become Pottersville?


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SCOTUS delivered a decision regarding signage and how municipalities can regulate them.  In a nutshell, SCOTUS determined municipalities cannot differentiate signage based on content, even if that content is safety related.

In other words, if a sign ordinance defines a maximum sign size for safety purposes, then all other signs can be just as large.  If a "BRIDGE OUT" sign can be 6' wide and 4' high, all other signs, including political signs, can be just as large.  And if that safety sign can be left in place indefinitely, so can political, ideological and all other signs.

Cities across the country are suspending sign enforcement because of this decision.  They did it here a year ago. 

Pottersville, here we come!

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4 minutes ago, Jules said:

SCOTUS delivered a decision regarding signage and how municipalities can regulate them.  In a nutshell, SCOTUS determined municipalities cannot differentiate signage based on content, even if that content is safety related.

In other words, if a sign ordinance defines a maximum sign size for safety purposes, then all other signs can be just as large.  If a "BRIDGE OUT" sign can be 6' wide and 4' high, all other signs, including political signs, can be just as large.  And if that safety sign can be left in place indefinitely, so can political, ideological and all other signs.

Cities across the country are suspending sign enforcement because of this decision.  They did it here a year ago. 

Pottersville, here we come!

SCOTUS seems to be in the process of turning into a witches' coven. There are some seriously nutbar rulings coming out of there.

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1 minute ago, Saorsa said:

Sounds like a win for freedom of speech by not allowing discrimination based on content.

 

Great

I can put up a yard sale sign in front of the the stop sign, make a lot more money on my car-crash YouTube channel

Free speech baby! Plus, why the fuck should a bunch of pussy-ass laws keep me from making more money!!

- DSK

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26 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Great

I can put up a yard sale sign in front of the the stop sign, make a lot more money on my car-crash YouTube channel

Free speech baby! Plus, why the fuck should a bunch of pussy-ass laws keep me from making more money!!

- DSK

Nah.  You could make a blanket law that says no sign owned by anyone except the city can exceed certain dimensions.  You just can't discriminate between different types of speech.

I'd be more than happy to start by eradicating billboards.  Visual pollution is a thing.

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Most municipalities require a fee/permit for fixed signage. The same should apply to all. It's a simple ordinance to pass and once the tickets for violating the ordinance start piling up, 75% of the problem will be solved.

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10 minutes ago, Grrr... said:

I'd be more than happy to start by eradicating billboards.  Visual pollution is a thing.

That comment drew a smile from the ghost of Lady Bird Johnson 

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The town of Guilford, Ct. had/has fairly strict rules regarding signage for stores/businesses, especially in the "Historic district".

 A guy opened an "Irish" pub in the historic district. His signage complied with ordinance. But the town zoning officer slapped him with a cease and desist order for breaking the ordinance by having a full sized Irish flag out front (As well as an American flag.).

 He refused to remove the flag on the premise that he was paying tribute to his Irish heritage. The town slapped him with a fine, that grew every day that he didn't comply. He took the town to court, and not only won the right to fly the flag, but lawyers fees, court costs, and a fairly sizeable award for his inconvenience.

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2 minutes ago, Mrleft8 said:

The town of Guilford, Ct. had/has fairly strict rules regarding signage for stores/businesses, especially in the "Historic district".

 A guy opened an "Irish" pub in the historic district. His signage complied with ordinance. But the town zoning officer slapped him with a cease and desist order for breaking the ordinance by having a full sized Irish flag out front (As well as an American flag.).

 He refused to remove the flag on the premise that he was paying tribute to his Irish heritage. The town slapped him with a fine, that grew every day that he didn't comply. He took the town to court, and not only won the right to fly the flag, but lawyers fees, court costs, and a fairly sizeable award for his inconvenience.

Sounds to me he was that Scotch-Irish variant.

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24 minutes ago, Grrr... said:

Nah.  You could make a blanket law that says no sign owned by anyone except the city can exceed certain dimensions.  You just can't discriminate between different types of speech.

I'd be more than happy to start by eradicating billboards.  Visual pollution is a thing.

I'm not a fan of billboards either, but I feel compelled to throw this out there....

Compared to the past, most of us now seem to be focused on our own interests, including the visual aspects of life, rather than the practical aspects for all of us.   I recall a circumstance some 40 years ago. I don't recall the person or the context.  May have been a teacher.  Anyway, the person was pointing out a vintage photograph of a picnic with smokestacks in the background. They made the observation that this was probably considered "scenery" at the time, in that it reflected prosperity. 

Billboards, particularly those of mom and pop enterprises probably bring people business and consequently enrich employees.

It just seems like we are more interested in ourselves and the little infringements as opposed to the bigger picture. 

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7 minutes ago, benwynn said:

I'm not a fan of billboards either, but I feel compelled to throw this out there....

Compared to the past, most of us now seem to be focused on our own interests, including the visual aspects of life, rather than the practical aspects for all of us.   I recall a circumstance some 40 years ago. I don't recall the person or the context.  May have been a teacher.  Anyway, the person was pointing out a vintage photograph of a picnic with smokestacks in the background. They made the observation that this was probably considered "scenery" at the time, in that it reflected prosperity. 

Billboards, particularly those of mom and pop enterprises probably bring people business and consequently enrich employees.

It just seems like we are more interested in ourselves and the little infringements as opposed to the bigger picture. 

image.png.7faad9a86f5ed35965fd8e9fce92bd7d.png

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30 minutes ago, Mrleft8 said:

image.png.7faad9a86f5ed35965fd8e9fce92bd7d.png

If you've ever driven from Michigan to Florida....

It's all fine into you hit Georgia.  Not only does it take forever to drive through that state, they have a gentlemen's club billboard every 30 feet.

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1 hour ago, Remodel said:

Most municipalities require a fee/permit for fixed signage. The same should apply to all. It's a simple ordinance to pass and once the tickets for violating the ordinance start piling up, 75% of the problem will be solved.

That's some good thinking right there.  The city council here is stymied by this.  As a result, there are still political signs up on personal properties.  It's an eyesore.  This is one of those cities that keeps even real estate signs diminutive.  But for elections, they allow temporary signs exceeding that. 

There was something I read in the decision that seemed to be saying there is no difference between a safety sign and a political sign.  Which caused me to wonder if SCOTUS wanted to keep politics in the forefront of American minds.  All the better to rob the piggy bank unnoticed.  FWIW, Citizens United was referenced to support their sign decision.

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2 hours ago, Jules said:

SCOTUS delivered a decision regarding signage and how municipalities can regulate them.  In a nutshell, SCOTUS determined municipalities cannot differentiate signage based on content, even if that content is safety related.

In other words, if a sign ordinance defines a maximum sign size for safety purposes, then all other signs can be just as large.  If a "BRIDGE OUT" sign can be 6' wide and 4' high, all other signs, including political signs, can be just as large.  And if that safety sign can be left in place indefinitely, so can political, ideological and all other signs.

Cities across the country are suspending sign enforcement because of this decision.  They did it here a year ago. 

Pottersville, here we come!

The dirt salesmen's signs in your neighborhood used to be size limited by the deed restrictions.  The civic association got tired of enforcing they rules so they got the city to codify the restrictions.  That wasn't good enough and they changed the code for the whole city.

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41 minutes ago, Grrr... said:

If you've ever driven from Michigan to Florida....

It's all fine into you hit Georgia.  Not only does it take forever to drive through that state, they have a gentlemen's club billboard every 30 feet.

Wrong. It was only one strip club (cafe risqué) on 75 South that had billboards and they were not every 30 feet, there was at least 100 yards between the signs. Furthermore, this was just over the boarder from Florida and was the Georgia expansion of a Florida business.  Lastly, the female talent had none and they have been closed for a few years. 
 

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22 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

WTF did the SCOTUS even hear this one?

Don't they have enough to do?

This started with a small church in the city of Gilbert, AZ.  Yeah, I never heard of Gilbert before either.  BTW, the SCOTUS decision happened over 5 years ago but, as I understand it, there are lawyers across the country now suing municipalities that are in violation of this ruling.

I digress..., they pastor was posting signs to direct people to his church.  The town told him that was in violation of the town ordinances.  The pastor sued.  The appellate court agreed with the lower courts that the city was in their rights to enforce their sign ordinance.  So the church took it to the Supreme Court.

So tell me, how did Pastor Clyde Reed of little ol' Good News Community Church come up with the money to pay all those lawyers to take this case to the Supreme Court? 

Here's more on the story - https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/1472/reed-v-town-of-gilbert

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1 hour ago, Grrr... said:

If you've ever driven from Michigan to Florida....

It's all fine into you hit Georgia.  Not only does it take forever to drive through that state, they have a gentlemen's club billboard every 30 feet.

It's really N. Carolina where it starts, then when you hit the S. Carolina bible belt, the funniest bit is that there's strip club ads on one side of the billboard, and "Jesus saves" ads for mega churches on the reverse side. They're probably run by the same people.

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